13,900-Year-Old Bone Projectile Point Unveils Ancient History of the Clovis People

A recent study published in Science Advances unearthed a bone projectile tip that is 13,900 years old, making it the oldest bone weapon yet discovered in the Americas. This study, led by Dr. Michael Waters of Texas A&M University, uncovers a previously unknown aspect of the Clovis people’s past.

The research team scanned and utilized 3D software on shards embedded within a mastodon rib discovered between 1977 and 1979 at the Manis excavation site. The scans revealed that these fragments did not originate from the mastodon itself but rather from an external source. In addition, radiocarbon dating revealed that this source was 900 years older than other Clovis-associated projectile points discovered at other North American sites.

Before the Clovis period, the Native Americans certainly fashioned and utilized bone weapons and other forms of tools, according to this revolutionary study. This means that prior estimates of when people first entered North America must be altered, as it is now obvious that they did so considerably earlier than previously believed.

According to Waters, culturally and technologically, the inhabitants of North and South America during this time were extraordinarily diverse. He stated, “These early patterns may have been wiped out or changed several times over the course of thousands of years when people adopted new technologies such as bifacial stone points and ceramic ceramics.”

To comprehend how long humans have lived in the Americas prior to the Clovis epoch, additional research is required. In addition, a greater investigation is required to determine what forms of technology were utilized in their early settlements and how they evolved. With this new information on ancient bone weapons, however, we may investigate these prehistoric cultures in more depth than ever before.